Hello, my name is Jacob and I am a science teacher at Sunrise Academy in Hurricane Utah. As well as being a school we are also a Residential Treatment Center or RTC. I want to address one of the most commonly asked questions that I get from parents:
“My daughter has been out of school for a while and is behind in her high school credits, can she still graduate?”
I am happy to say that the answer to their question 99% of the time is yes.
At our school, we take great pride in the fact that we can meet the student where they are at in school credits and get them to the place they need to be. Many of our students come to us from a wilderness program that can last up to a couple of months. In this time, they are not in a classroom and are getting behind in their credits.
- As a program, we like to take a look at the transcripts the students bring with them and assess the best way to get them caught up to the standards of their current grade in our program.
- Each teacher can give a placement exam to see where the student is, either excelling or lacking in their subject. From this test we have a baseline of the student’s knowledge of the Utah State Core Curriculum and we can put into place an individualized plan to get that student to the knowledge base they should be for the appropriate age and grade.
- In our program, we have a smaller than average class size, between 6 to 14 students. These smaller class sizes allow each educator to spend extra time for one on one instruction for all students. In our one on one approach, we are able to implement numerous different types of assessments to fit each student’s learning style.
- To help each educator to understand the individual student’s learning style, every student takes a learning styles inventory and research how they can use this style to help them in the classroom. Weekly staff meetings are attended every Tuesday morning and each advisor lets the entire faculty know how each student learns best. Upon receiving this information, each teacher is given the opportunity to adjust the individual’s syllabus to their particular learning style. With this individuality to each student, we can move through the curriculum faster and more thoroughly than they can at a traditional school.
I have seen students come into our classrooms with little to no hope of graduating with their class. I have also seen those same students with hard work and determination, beat the odds and walk with their graduating class. Many of our students not only graduate but also go on to rewarding college careers. This is one of the many enjoyable parts of my job here at Sunrise Academy.
Written by Jacob Grimm, Science Teacher
“We won’t stop going to school when we graduate” Carol Burnet